After Martha brought her sister Mary to meet Jesus outside Bethany, Mary threw herself at his feet weeping, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” She was bitter in her heart but secretly hopeful as well. As her sister Martha had told her, “Even now, I know that whatever Jesus asks of God, God will give to him. We can still have our brother Lazarus back.”
The mourners had followed the sisters from their home to where Jesus was waiting outside the village, and there was a great cry of anguish in the air.
Jesus placed his hand upon Mary’s head. “Where have you laid him.”
Seeing the tremendous grief Mary and Martha suffered, he too began to weep. The crowd thought it was because Jesus had loved Lazarus so much that he too mourned the loss. They didn’t understand that Jesus had known the man Lazarus was to die and that it was for the glory of the Almighty.
“Lord, come and see.” Mary rose and took the Master’s hand, pulling him in the direction of the tomb.
He went with them, still deeply moved by their grief. The mourners followed so there was a sizable group of people present when they came to the cave. The opening was covered with a stone sealing the corpse inside.
“Remove the stone,” Jesus said.
Shocked, Martha replied, “Lord, by this time there will be a stench for he has been dead four days!”